Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 18-01-2011

Will the Island implement the Disability Discrimination Act?

by Tessa Hawley

Will the Island implement the Disability Discrimination Act?

IT will take around three months for consultants to work out how much it would cost the Manx Government to implement the Disability Discrimination Act.


The act is intended to make it unlawful to discriminate against people who are disabled in relation to the provision of goods, services, education and transport.


The legislation was approved by Tynwald in 2006 but has yet to be brought in due to a lack of knowledge as to the likely financial impact on buildings and services provided by government, businesses and the voluntary, charitable and not-for-profit organisations.


The Department of Social Care has commissioned a study from a relevant expert to assess the likely implementation costs of the Disability Discrimination Act.


A plan will be prepared to meet the needs of the disabled while minimising any adverse effect on organisations involved.


Similar legislation was implemented some years ago in the UK and Ireland and the department plans to use their experience in determining costs for the Island.


Social Care Minister Martyn Quayle MHK said: "The department is committed to implementing the Disability Discrimination Act 2006 and in order to make progress we need to have a realistic estimate of the likely costs of implementation.


"It should be borne in mind that many departments of government and businesses in the private sector have already identified necessary works and have been undertaking appropriate improvements.


"The commissioning of this study will give an expert assessment of costs so that we can make an informed decision on the next steps we need to take."


Work will take around three months once an appropriate agency has been selected. A report will be made available to the department no later than the end of June.

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